Love Lesson #4: Take Time for Your Life
Jena worked in hell. She felt overworked, underpaid, and constantly devalued. The man she worked for had no integrity and played power games that chewed down the morale of the entire staff while keeping everyone off balance and in emotional turmoil.
When she took this job, it sounded exciting and prestigious to be working for a high-powered, multi-millionaire businessman as Director of Operations in charge of planning all of his social events and expediting all of his building operations. It was challenging and Jena constantly rose to the challenge--she is an amazingly resourceful woman and if she didn’t know the answer she knew how to find it in short order. Some of her greatest talents are keeping harmony in her relationships and environment and that was a huge blessing to the people she worked with because this man thrived on keeping people off balance and uncertain so that he could control them.
Naturally there was high staff turnover and many contractors would walk off the job because he would cheat them or continually make them redo or upgrade work. She needed a bulldozer to continually sweep up the debris while graciously soothing hurt feelings and raging tempers and handling all of her other enormous work responsibilities. She was an angel in the midst of continual crisis.
I had always admired Jena for her warmth, kindness, and extraordinarily bright and resourceful mind. No matter what the problem was, she was totally invested in helping to find the solution. She is a problem solver in every respect and she does it with so much grace and warmth that every person involved is benefited by her input.
Jena and I had known each other because of memberships in some of the same business associations and when we reconnected she was emotionally and mentally shattered. Her self-esteem was so low that she was afraid to go on interviews to find a better career position. She admitted to me that this job was killing her because it was in complete opposition to her personal standards of high integrity and honesty. She saw how it was sucking the life energy out of her and because her energy was so low she needed a “hand up” to see some new direction and get some positive reinforcement and support.
It was so sad to see this loving and talented woman in so much pain and confusion.
Our first step together was evaluating all eight areas of her life to find out what was working in her life...to help increase her self-confidence. Because of all of the unreasonable time demands and continual problem solving she had to do to keep her job it was clear that everything in her personal life had gone out of whack. Looking at Health, Appearance, Career, Relationships, Money, Fun & Leisure, Home, and Spiritual we discovered that every area was out of balance and in trouble. This was a strong indication of why her self-esteem was so low; she clearly had no time to nurture herself, to go out and fun socially, or to be with people who valued and appreciated her.
Jena hired me to be her coach and to help her realign her life with the intention of getting her life back into balance to improve her health and confidence to have the energy to pursue a better career opportunity with improved benefits and financial rewards. Her primary goal was to be working for a person who valued and appreciated her for her high integrity and resourcefulness.
At the present moment she was much too afraid financially to quit her job, but we knew it was inevitable that it would be released soon. We started out by spending focused time on getting results in the areas of her life that would make the most important impact on her emotional well being. The first session was discovering her purpose in life. She discovered that she was not meant to be a workhorse--to be so used and abused.
Jena's self-esteem soared as we re-evaluated things she had accomplished in the past that gave her great satisfaction and we also revisited memories of good times in her life and successes that she was praised and rewarded for. Each session we set goals for what was important in her life in all eight areas so she would clearly see immediate results. She soon was feeling back in control of her life and she recognized how her energy had been consumed by this "black-hole” leach who devalued her at every level and kept her off balance and exhausted.
Now Jena began to recognize how she had abandoned her own well-being by devoting herself to taking care of his needs and taking on the burden of resolving the tornado of disasters he left in his wake. As she began to focus her loving energy back into her own life she made time for nourishing friendships. She supported herself by reading books that would give her insight and help her to feel more confident in re-designing her life. Books like Callings, Finding and Living an Authentic Life by LaVoy, and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. She read books about finding a career in alignment with life purpose. She also took time to journal to listen to her own inner voice.
As Jena's self-esteem recovered she was ready to start networking and letting people know that she was on the hunt for a better career opportunity. She began by doing informational interviews, asking people she already knew what they thought she would be good at and if they had any recommendations for her to investigate. It was music to her ears to hear how highly she was regarded in the community and how eager people were to help her find just the right home for her gifts and talents. One of her assignments was to keep a compliment list. She was astonished at how many compliments she was getting for her past successes and for how much she was appreciated for the gifts she always brought to the table and her generosity in sharing those gifts in what ever way was needed. These two exercises catapult her self-esteem into high gear. WOW! This woman was on fire. It was thrilling to watch her soar and reach for more than she had ever dared ask for.
By the time we finished the eight sessions, she was offered six jobs all in the same week. Each job offer had aspects that would be of great benefit to her life and they wanted her enough to up their salary offers to get her. She was blown away by the results she had accomplished in all eight areas of her life. She was now going to be entering into a great new job with her life in balance. She had taken time to sincerely evaluate herself and what she wanted in her own life and now life was handing it back to her on a platter. Better jobs offering more money and benefits than ever before. The job she chose was the "cream of the crop.” She felt instant rapport with the boss who hired her. He had a huge mission to accomplish (she loves a mission), and now he has the perfect angel at his side to accomplish his goals with the highest integrity, for the good of all, because this is just how she operates.
The love lesson here is:
When you are in a major crisis in your life, don’t just jump into another frying pan, or relationship, or job. You will take the same problems with you unless you discover new ways to change your life for the better. Take time to honor and discover yourself. Read Take Time for your Life by Cheryl Richardson. Attend some classes to open your mind to new ways of experiencing and enjoying life and read books that enrich and expand you instead of novels for escape. Hire a coach to make it easier on yourself to get results. If you only hang out with and talk to the same old people they will keep you stuck in your same old ways. Ask for help and your burdens will be lightened and your fears will be dissolved. Fear is what keeps us from doing new things. A fearless coach helps you to makes changes with joy and ease. She is your own personal cheerleader and positive support.